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Is there anything that has not been written about biblical manhood? Books, articles, and videos abound with calls for men to demonstrate character, integrity, authenticity, and especially “servant leadership.” In an attempt to not write what has already been written over and over again, I present the following ideas.
First, the term servant leadership is an inaccurate and inadequate description of Paul’s instructions to men in the fifth chapter of Ephesians. A “servant leader” stoops to serve only when he chooses to do so; it is a very tidy role with a narrow focus on serving others. Yet it is already obvious to most Christian men that they need to avoid misinterpreting Scripture as a call to biblical de...
Stephen Arterburn is the founder and chairman of New Life Ministries, the nation’s largest faith-based broadcast, counseling, and treatment ministry. He is also host of the New Life Live! radio program that airs on more than 180 radio stations, SiriusXM radio, and television. Steve is a nationally known public speaker and has been featured in media such as Oprah and Good Morning America. He is a teaching pastor at Northview Church in Indianapolis and resides with his family in Indiana.
Addressing church budgets starts with understanding the broader context of a church’s mission and purpose. If a budget represents the financial blueprint for carrying out a church’s ministry plan for a particular period of time, then logic would dictate that such a blueprint and its related ministry plan should be a function—a derivative—of the church’s mission and purpose. Many times, however, churches engage in elaborate budget development processes without first evaluating whether their activities are directly in furtherance of their mission and purpose. In some cases, churches operate without a well-defined expression of their mission and purpose. Ensuring that the church’s budget is a function of its mission and purpose will help church leaders avoid putting the cart before the horse, or for that matter, having the cart detached from the horse.
Michael E. Batts is the president and managing partner of Batts Morrison Wales and Lee (nonprofitcpa.com), a national CPA firm dedicated exclusively to serving churches, ministries, and other nonprofit organizations across the United States.This article is excerpted from his book, Church Finance: The Church Leader’s Guide to Financial Operations.
11 Ways To Ensure A God - Honoring Legacy
It’s no secret: Finishing this life with a God-honoring legacy isn’t automatic and certainly isn’t easy. So, in my twenties and thirties and again in my forties, I asked a number of older Christians to show me how it’s done. Thankfully, they agreed!
A few months before his death, best-selling author and international consultant Dr. Ted W. Engstrom invited me to spend a day together, just the two of us. His eyesight was gone, but his mind was still sharp. For hours, he told me about the things closest to his heart.
Among other things, Ted told me about a pact he, Billy Graham, and Bill Bright had made decades earlier, before they became famous. “We promised each other that we would finish well,” Dr. Engstrom told me, smiling. “And just think—Bill Bright did just that! Billy Graham assures me he’s going to be faithful to the end. And I fully intend to do the same!”
David Sanford’s book and Bible projects have been published by Zondervan, Tyndale House, Thomas Nelson, Doubleday, Barbour, and Amazon. His speaking engagements have ranged everywhere from UC Berkeley (CA) to The Billy Graham Center at the Cove (NC).
How Can God Be Good When The Church Is Bad
Perhaps the biggest obstacle to belief in God in recent years has been a growing disillusionment with Christians and the church. No doubt the church has a historical closet full of skeletons. Even in our own lifetimes, horrendous evils have been exposed, with those who bear God’s name having done reprehensible things under the institutional cover of the church. So with the church’s moral currency bankrupted by religious hypocrisy, and when you consider that part of the Christian story supposedly involves a change brought about in the human heart by God, how do you explain Christians behaving badly?
There should be no room for any answer to a question this raw that does not begin with tremendous sorrow for those who have been harmed, closely followed by a deep protest against any ongoing existence of those evils. God Himself is intimately familiar with the terrible wounds that can accompany being the target of religious hypocrisy since the religious establishment, who were meant to be a spiritual safe haven, were the very ones whose dark actions of betrayal and injustice led to Jesus’ brutal execution.
Through my 18 years of church and non-profit experience, along with my time as a church consultant I have learned a lot about the right and wrong way to bring change. Today, I want to share what I have learned as necessities to bringing impactful and long-lasting change. If you are a leader, your survival may depend on how you bring change. Why is that? People do not like change and if you bring it about poorly you will lose the people.
Here are six things you can do to be a positive change agent:
Mission and Values: Does the change you want to bring drive your mission forward and align with your values? If the answer is no, you need a new idea. If it is yes, now you have something you can share and inspire people with. The mission and values of your church should always serve as a filter for your ideas.
Bob Van Baren is a church consultant and coach at his company Vision 2-10. He also has 18 years’ experience in church ministry and non-profits, along with a Master of Arts in Leadership and Organizational Development from Bethel Seminary.
Why Is Being “Relational” That Important?
It’s been thirty years now since the first personal computers and cellphones began infiltrating almost all aspects of our everyday life. We’ve been dealing with technology long enough now to begin understanding the risk factors that we didn’t recognize early on. No doubt, parents from the 1950s eventually learned that smoking in a car with the windows up was damaging (or smoking in general, much less around children). Parents today, in their heart of hearts, are beginning to understand the need to put down the screen and start relating more with their children in a way that builds personal, loving relationships.
But the real challenge is how do you build stronger relationships with your child once you put down your phone!
Adapted from The Relationally Intelligent Child: Five Keys to Helping Your Kids Connect Well With Others by John Trent and Dewey Wilson (©2021). Published by Northfield Publishing. All rights to this material are reserved.